hello there. welcome to "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. >> the leaders of turkey's ruling party have offered an olive branch with protesters. ruling party leaders say they are open to holding a referendum. erdogan met with those and the justice development party offered to hold the vote on developing a park.
they want to build a cultural and shopping center in a green space. activists staged a sit-in to protest against the plans. police stormed the demonstration and protesters across the country joined in a movement against what they called the government's heavy-handed tactics. government leaders made few concessions until now. protesters say they won't go away until erdogan does. syrian government forces have opened fire on targets in a lebanese border town. the town is a stronghold for those opposed to syrian president bashar al assad. at least three people were wounded in the helicopter attack. residents of the town of arsal support syrian opposition forces in their fight against assad's troops. they've taken in opposition fighters and treat the injured. they say the government missiles landed near a hospital. more and more lebanese are
taking sides in the syrian civil war. members of the shia militant group hezbollah are fighting on behalf of the government. they help defeat opposition forces in the syrian town of kusar. but opposition forces have been hitting back from th positions along the border. in one of the latest battles they fired eight rockets into the hezbollah stronghold of hormel. an american whistleblower says a hacking program is a lot more extensive than thought. edward snowden says the program has also targeted computers in hong kong, mainland china and around the world. "the washington post" and britain's "guardian's" newspaper reported the u.s. government has been collecting phone and internet records as part of counterterrorism measures. the thursday of the post in hong kong is carrying an interview with snowden. it quotes him as saying there have been more than 61,000 nsa hacking operations targeting
computers around the world. snowden says hacking into computers in hong kong and mainland china began in 2009. the hacking targeted universities, government officials and companies. he says he was releasing the information to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the u.s. government. the people at google, apple and other internet companies have been caught up in all of this. they say accusations that they're giving security agencies unrestricted access to users' data are not true. executives at google asked government officials to allow them to publish requests by security agencies to hand over such information. they say they must fulfill their responsibility to their customers. managers at facebook have made a similar request. the appeals follow media reports that intelligent authorities have collected records of private telephone calls and e-mail messages.
"the guardian" newspaper and the "washington post." south korean officials are pressing their neighbor to live up to an agreement and sit down at the negotiating table. authorities in north korea backed out of meetings set for this week in seoul. these would have been the first high-level talks between the two koreas in nearly six years. but neither side could agree on who should lead each delegation. the north koreans then announced they would not attend. >> translator: the stalled talks represent the growing pains of creating new inter-korean relations. pyongyang should show its sincerity if it wants to move forward. >> another senior south korean official said his government now has no intention of renewing its offer. north korean authorities hinted through state-run media they would join the talks, but the south koreans say two phone calls they made on wednesday over a hot line that links the countries went unanswered. if the meetings happen, both sidewa to scuss a number of isss,ludihe oping of aoint r destination. mnd a tourism
central bankers in the u.s. have been pumping money into the economy for years but they may be feeling it' time to step back. ai uchida joins us from the business desk. we've seen signs of a turnaround. ti-government taliban what's happening now? >> we've seen some mixed economic indicators but investors are actually not crazy about the idea of a u.conomy without the central bank's help, in fact u.s. stock prices declined on wednesday as investors continued to be concerned that the federal reserve may soon wind down its stimulus measures. that's a loss of 0.8% and 995, posting three straight sessions of losses for the first time this year and the nasdaq, that ended at 3,400, a loss of 1%. now we go to ilene at the
japanese markets. on wednesday japanese pearred back their losses. how are things looking this morning? >> good morning, ai. we're looking at a negative start this morningere are the opening levels for thursday, june 13. the nikkei is at 12,909, falling 2.86%. the broader topix is also down by more than 2%. so investors are actually still selling shares after those losses on wall street. analysts say there was a lack of news wednesday to offset the concerns about the u.s. federal reserve scaling back the program to support the u.s. economy. but now investors are waiting for some key data in the u.s., the weekly jobless claims as well as retail sales and both are due later today. stronger numbers may indicate an improvement in the outlook for the u.s. economy, but at the
same time also fuel speculation that the u.s. federal reserve may taper its quantitative easing program and that may turn good news for the economy into bad news for the markets and here in japan, investors will continue to closely monitor the japanese government bond market, that's after the yield on the benchmark ten-year jgb hit 0.9% wednesday. the periodical spikes in interest rates have been hurting shares in the real estate and financial sectors. let's have a look at some major currency pairs. the dollar is now trading at 95.40-45 against the yen after going down to the lower 95 level, even lower than what we are seeing now overnight in the u.s.. market players are still selling the dollar and buying the yen as a relatively safer asset given the recent volatility in the equity and bond markets. now let's have a look at
euro/yen. it is now changing hands at 127.32-37, but overnight the euro received some support after the eurozone's industrial output for april was slightly above market expectations. with the yen gaining more momentum against major currencies these may continue to hurt share prices of exported related shares of today and will keep track of that. >> thanks a lot for the update. the nikkei is down 2.9% so far this morning. now the european union has readmitted myanmar to its preferential trade scheme. they want to support reform through economic development. myanmar was suspended from the scheme in 199 as the military regime at the time was using forced labor. myanmar is classified as a least developed country. officials noted the improved working environment in the country as it moves toward
democracy. myanmar exports mainly clothing to europe. the country will regain duty free and quota free access to theuropean market for all products except armaments. that's the latest in business news. i'll leave you with a check on markets. thousands of people in france continue to be disrupted because of an ongoing strike by air traffic controllers. more than half of the country's
scheduled flights were canceled on wednesday. more chaos is expected on thursday. the air traffic controllers began their three-day strike on tuesday. they are protesting a proposal by the european commission to privatize some air traffic services. just one quarter of the controllers turned up for work. officials at eight major airports including paris' charles de gaulle said they expected about 2,000 flight cancellations on wednesday alone. the european commission wants to streamline air traffic services by consolidating different national control systems under a single authority. the plan is part of efforts to prepare for an expected rise in the number of flights. but the controllers union says privatization and payroll streamlining will threaten safety. japan is about to join an international treaty designed to give greater protection to children. the 1980 hague convention on international child abduction aims to protect children caught in international custody disputes and from abusive parents.
lawmakers in japan's upper house approved ratification of the hague convention on international child abduction last month. on wednesday, they unanimously passed a bill to implement the convention. the treaty covers cases in which a parent takes his or her children to another country without the other parent's consent. it says children must be returned to the countries where they usually live. family courts in tokyo and osaka will hear cases involving international custody disputes. hearings will be conducted behind closed doors. if a parent refuses to cooperate, the courts will be able to take the children away. the legislation also allows a parent to refuse to hand over a child in cases where domestic violence or abuse is suspected. two rival game consolemakers . iranians face a choice on friday. they're voting in a presidential election. we're looking at some of the main candidates vying to succeed
outgoing leader mahmoud ahmadinej ahmadinejad. we're talking about the conservative hard liners. the guardian council of islamic scholars screened 686 candidates and chose eight based on factors such as devotion to islam. two have since dropped out. of those who remain, three are conservative, two are independent, and one is a moderate conservative who is supported by reformists. two of the conservative candidates leading in this race are close to the country's ayatollah khomeini. and now more about who they are and what they stand for. >> reporter: jalili is a close aide to khomeini. this is the conference center. conservative supporters are chanting mr. jalili should be the next president.
jalili has staunch support but is loyal to the islamic regime. >> translator: we will expand the influence of islam around the world and we won't back down against the united states or other domineering nations. >> reporter: jalili is acting on behalf of khomeini. he has taken charge of the negotiation with the west about iran's nuclear program. just after the talks, jalili explained in an interview that iran will not yield to the west on the nuclear issue. >> translator: the entire nation is united in terms of the nuclear development issue. iran will take this path and demand its rights in solidarity. >> reporter: jalili is 47, the youngest candidate, and the fact that he lost a leg in the
iran/iraq war helps makes him a hero. he lacks experience in national politics, but he tried to cast himself as an economic specialist. from the growth led by ahmadinejad. >> translator: jalili will never give into the west. he's the only candidate to get the economic sanctions lifted. >> reporter: another strong contender is ghalibaf. he is thought to be a political rival to ahmadinejad and feels the failure of the current administration has brought about economic turmoil. ghalibaf is touting his current post as mayor and past position of chief of police. >> translator: it could have turned the decrease in the oil
income into an opportunity to make iran a country less dependent on oil. i promise to focus on stabilizing foreign exchange rates. >> reporter: as the mayor of tehran, ghalibaf is well known in the capital and surrounding areas. but he has yet to gain recognition in remote area where 80% of the constituents live. >> translator: with the enthusiasm of young people in the province, we will have the highest vote for ghalibaf. >> translator: today unemployment is serious among young people. i will restore the economy within two years.
>> translator: i think ghalibaf has the ability to run the government thanks to his previous jobs as mayor and police chief. >> reporter: jalili and ghalibaf are dueling for the candidacy. they continue to heat up as the people to go to the poll on friday. hironito nezu, nhk world, tehran. traditional japanese sweets are pleasing on the eye. shaped like flowers or leaves, they get you thinking about the seasons. but two young women decided it was time to try something new. they're creating snacks that stimulate all the senses starting with your sense of humor.
♪ all eyes at this recital are on the musicians and a row of traditional japanese sweets. almost traditional, gracing the top of each sweet is a tiny musical note. the theme of the sweet is eating sound. the audience gets to savor two cultural experiences at the same time. food for the soul and the mind. the fun treats are the work of two kyoto confectioners. she used to work at a publishing company. her interests in japanese sweets started with a book assignment. she quit her job and moved to kyoto to learn more. sayoko sugiyami came to the capital for college. soon after she developed a taste for old-style confectionary and started working at a traditional sweet shop. that's where she met uchida.
sharing a hunger to create their own style of treats, they set up their own business. their creations are characterized by stylish or funny motifs. and they give all of them names just like traditional japanese sweets. this design is called tetris. it's named after a popular computer game. this one is 3:00. the hands of the clock are set for tea break. this one is food for deeper thought. it's called the grass is always greener. >> translator: we just wanted to make something that would make people laugh when they ate it. >> reporter: the two sweet chefs are always working on new ideas and motifs. they carry a notebook with them at all times.
they have a sharp eye for the funny and quirky side of life. >> translator: i always have my antenna up. i ride my bike a lot. and i always pay attention to what i see. if i found something interesting, i'll write it down. posters or someone's hairstyle, for example. >> reporter: the women started out making sweets for weddings and tea ceremonies, but word on their creations is spreading. they now sell directly to the public once a month. a line forms outside whenever their shop is open. >> translator: the names are great, and they're stylish little treats. they are really cute. >> translator: they have one called the apollo with just one little footprint on the moon. then there's another, the moonwalk, which has many footprints. it's such a cute idea.
>> reporter: the two sweet maestros recently published a book of their designs. it went into a second printing almost immediately. >> translator: we just hope that people who become interested in our work will head to japanese sweet shop and learn about all kinds of sweets, both modern and traditional. >> translator: i hope, for example, people enjoy the design of sweets on a museum, then they can eat it later. our goal is to create something that can be enjoyed both visually and for its taste. >> reporter: uchida and sugiyama have found their following. they're in the entertainment business and the kitchen is their studio. using rice flour, sugar and beans and a strong pinch of humor. the kyoto confectioners are putting their own stamp on a japanese tradition.
two rival game consolemakers have squared off with each other at the world's biggest game industry exhibition in los angeles. the electronic entertainment expo or e-3 kicked off on tuesday. some 200 related companies took part this year. sony computer entertainment and microsoft, both showcase their new models at that time annual event. at sony's booth many visitors tried out its playstation 4, the new console offers a function that enables users to share the game screen with a number of others over the internet. playstation 4 is scheduled to go on sale for $399 ahead of the year-end holiday shopping season. >> it's significantly better than the playstation 3, and the controls feel really, really good. i really love the controller and the graphics are really amazing. >> microsoft's new machine xbox 1 also attracted attention. the new console is equipped with a function that allows users to control games through gestures or with their voice.
microsoft plans to begin sales of the xbox 1 in november at $499. >> the fact you can do multiple things, like they're trying to advertise the all-in-one system. you can do games, movies, skype, everything like that. it's amazing. >> the trade show will be held until thursday. time for a check on the weather. people in tokyo are popping up their umbrellas but we're seeing different in other parts of japan. >> quite some gloomy sky we have out here in the tokyo metropolitan region. however, out towards northern japan as well as the sea of japan side, really different sky. let me show you a picture coming out from yesterday. a high pressure system that has left much of japan in the grip of scorching hot weather temperatures soared to 35
degrees in some places making it the hottest day of the year so far. dry weather will likely prevail into early next week. authorities are advising people to take precautions against heat stroke and farmers have been told to watch their crops. pulling you back, the temperatures for today, it's going to be like this. asahikawa is in the 20s, but the high 20s there. akita prefecture in tohoku region is seeing 32 degrees for your high. kyoto is expecting about 35 degrees. so it's going to be a really hot midsummer day. except for central japan where we had this tropical storm now down to a tropical depression, however, it will be clinging on to this area bringing heavy rain into the next 24 hours. the past 24 hours in shizuoka has already seen 200 millimeters.
an additional 100 millimeters could certainly cause flooding condition, so we should be watching out for that. down to the south, more rain to come here across the southern coast of china due though this low pressure system. it's almost stationary. it's moving at a very slow pace. it is feeding the seasonal band, and that's going to create some localized heavy showers about 100 millimeters of additional amounts as well. another area to be watching out for flooding is here in southern thailand, where we will be seeing another 150 to 200 millimeters on top of the 200 millimeters that has already fall number the area. bangkok 33 degrees temperature wise with chances of thundershowers as well. taipei and hong kong, rainy weather there. taipei hanging on to 30s. that's going to be the same here in seoul. down to 28, now overcast, but that will be up to 31 degrees on your sunday.
back again with the temperatures. here across north america, we had severe weather across the upper midwest. that's now down towards the southern great lakes region. and it is going to create more severe weather across the very well populated regions. these big cities such as chicago and indianapolis, they're under the severe weather threat. tornadoes are not going to be ruled out. in fact, we already have seven tornado touchdowns reported in a very short timespan across iowa and in and around that region. that's going to move towards new york, the capitol and philly into your thursday. temperatures are shaping up like this. phoenix still at 42 degrees, but down to 23 in chicago. now a very quick look here in europe. the midsection of central europe's looking fine and clear, which is great news for the areas where we have been seeing the torrential flooding rain. temperatures are as follows -- madrid up to 33, london on the
and here we are on a beautiful san francisco morning, heading out across san francisco bay. our destination is probably one of the most famous, not only in our state, but in the entire world. i'm talking, of course, about alcatraz. there it is, over there in the distance. the fog is just beginning to lift. now, everybody knows about alcatraz, but, as usual, this journey is gonna be just a little bit different, because we're gonna be spending a day taking a look at a side of alcatraz